Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wot I did yesterday (Stone, Rosemary, Shooting, Braising)...

I cycled fifteen miles yesterday in the hope of turning up some shoes in one of the copious charity shops of the nearby well-heeled burg, Stone. No luck for footwear but it was a beautiful day, the countryside on the way was heavenly and the supermarket there had, in addition to a pile of reduced polenta - which I plundered - verdant surrounding hedges entirely of sweet-smelling rosemary (which I therefore also plundered).

I went straight out to the fields when I got back and - small miracle - within twenty minutes was walking home again with a large rabbit.

I've been following the Silver Spoon tip about soaking recently: just give the meat a half-hour soak in a litre of water with, say, half a cup of white wine vinegar. This seems to freshen the meat up a good deal and lessens the initial cooking smells.

I'm really a convert to braising with garlic and rosemary - it's so good. I use a pressure cooker, with the heat low and the lid not quite locked on. If time's running short I lock the lid on and give it a quick blast under pressure just to loosen the meat on the bone before dishing it out. Lord, it's good.


  1. HH

    Silver Spoon is a fantastic book, just a shame i cant [yet] read it in the Italian. The bit that puzzles me is in the introduction where it talks about the text being edited for a UK audience. What exactly needed changing?


  2. I have got to try this for myself, with the soaking in vinegar and then using rosemary and garlic. My wife dislikes vinegar and can't eat garlic, so I will be forced to eat it all myself!

  3. Hiya SBW.

    I read a few comments about the Silver Spoon on Amazon and I got the impression that - rather weirdly - they'd decided to put imperial measurements in on the basis that we're still all wrapped up in rod, perch and pole over here. Well, fair enough.

    The other changes they made seem to be around re-writing sections of the book. The original assumes that people (i.e, Italian people) pretty much *know* how to actually do this thing called 'cooking'. They decided that this might *not* be true for an English/American readership. And - who knows? - they might even have been right about that...

    Hiya Le Loup,

    Oh you should try it, for sure. It's just acidulated water though, not soaking in vinegar as such (though I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if you did) and there's only one clove of garlic per rabbit - so you don't taste it and think, 'WHA-HOO! GARLIC!'

    I think it's important not to skimp on the rosemary though - chuck *loads* of it in the chest cavity (with some of the olive oil and a wee bit of butter and garlic) and then sprinkle a fair bit more over the outside. Also, do add the odd bit of water to the braising pan from time to time if it starts to dry out at all and keep going till it's almost falling off the bone. Honestly - it's *really* good.

    Cheers all,